Maine Governor Paul LePage Thinks Lifesaving Anti-Overdose Medication Will …

February 13th, 2014 by admin Leave a reply »

The administration of Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) has come up with a new reason to oppose expanding access to a lifesaving medication that reverses heroin overdoses: cost.

A parade of overdose victims’ relatives, doctors and sheriffs spoke during a Wednesday hearing in support of a bill that would expand distribution of the drug, naloxone, to first responders and the family members of addicts. But an official from Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services who spoke afterward said he was worried about the bill’s potential effect on the state budget.

“The administration is committed to the prevention of drug abuse in this state, and to reduce the number of deaths as a result of drug overdoses,” Nicholas Adolphsen, the department’s director of legislative affairs, said at the hearing, held by the state’s Joint Standing Committee on Health and Human Services. “We cannot, however, determine what the fiscal impact would be … additional costs cannot simply be absorbed in our existing resources.”

Last year, LePage vetoed a bill expanding access to naloxone because he claimed it would give drug users a feeling of invincibility. Scientists say there is no evidence to support that assertion.

“Do you think having a fire extinguisher in your home makes you more dangerous?” asked Dr. Phillip Coffin, a leading researcher on naloxone at the San Francisco Department of Public Health. “Personally, I think it makes you less dangerous, because you always have fire on your

Article source: